Guide Training & Internships

Himalayan River Guide Training Academy

Our Himalayan River Guide Training Academy offers an intensive 2 month program with the most comprehensive training of its kind, hosted in Nepal on an epic variety of wilderness camps and multi-day river expeditions.  If you are a paddling enthusiast, then you know Nepal is “Mecca” to river running and offers the greatest variety of whitewater rivers in the world. 

Our own IRF Instructor Nim B Magar (Coach of Nepal’s National Rafting Team & President of the Nepal Association of Rafting Agencies) is partnering with fellow IRF Instructor / Assessor & Rescue 3 Europe WRTA Instructor Mark Hirst of Lapin Koskikouli to offer this unique river guide training & internship opportunity.  

The program is open to anybody wishing to travel & explore the rivers of Nepal, while gaining valuable skills & certifications to become a professional river guide.  Existing river guides & kayakers are invited to join the program to enhance their current skills, gain valuable multi-day river exposure and further develop their trip leading careers.  

SPRING 2020 – Applications now open!
Dates TBA: Feb-Apr. Here’s the approximate plan…

SECTION 1 – Core Training:  (2 weeks)

To become a professional guide, you must first receive solid professional core training. During the first 13 days we will be based at our riverside adventure camp on the banks of the Trisuli River. This will allow us access to a selection of both day and multi-day runs on the Trisuli & surrounding rivers. We will spend each day on the river, running practical lessons, focusing on the following:

  • The role & duties of a professional river guide
  • Hydrology & reading whitewater
  • Raft maneuvering & crew communication
  • Client care & legal responsibilities
  • Whitewater safety & rescue
  • Safety kayak operations (kayakers must be competent class 3/4 whitewater boaters)
  • River signals & communications
  • Multi-day trip planning & logistics preparation
  • Trip management (day trips & multi-day expeditions)
  • Emergency management & risk assessments
  • Trip catering
  • Equipment maintenance & selection
  • Knots & rope-work
  • Team building & professional development

Upon successful completion of the core training, students will be awarded the following internationally recognized awards:

  • Rescue 3 Europe Whitewater Rescue Technician Professional (WRT)
  • International Rafting Federation Guide Trainee (IRF

SECTION 2 – Consolidation Internship:  (3 weeks)

The consolidation period will allow all students to use the newly learned skills while shadowing professional trip leaders, raft guides & safety kayakers on commercial whitewater adventure trips operated by Paddle Nepal. Students will gain valuable experience while running some of Nepal’s renowned rivers such as…

  • Upper Seti River – 1/2 day 
  • Trisuli River – 1 day
  • Lower Seti River – 2 days
  • Kaligandaki River – 3 days

During the consolidation period, students will be given regular feedback sessions by both mentoring trip leaders as well as instructors. Between trips, students will be based near our Lakeside operations center in Pokhara, the “Adventure Capital of Nepal”.  

SECTION 3 – Expedition:  (10 days)

The practical expedition trip will take us on an incredible journey into Nepal’s “wild west” – The KARNALI RIVER. This epic 10 day whitewater adventure is one of the most remote, pristine & dramatic river experiences on the planet. Its the ultimate opportunity to really practice all of the skills learned over the past several weeks and experience a genuine multi-day river expedition.

SECTION 4 – Advanced White Water Rescue Training:  (4 days)

The advanced rescue section will follow the curriculum needed to obtain the Rescue 3 Europe Whitewater Rescue Technician Advance certificate (WRTA). The WRTA course is aimed at rafters & kayakers operating on class 4/5 rivers in remote locations where vertical access may be needed. The WRTA teaches students advanced rescue techniques using basic river rescue equipment. This 4 day section will be based back in Pokhara near our Lakeside operations center.

SECTION 5 – Final Assessments:  (5 days)

The final section of the course will be based on the worldclass Marshyangdi River. This “raging river” is the ultimate test environment. Depending on students’ experience they will have the opportunity to be assessed for one or more of the following International Rafting Federation awards…

  • Raft Guide Class III
  • Safety Kayaker Class III
  • Trip Leader class III
  • Raft Guide Class IV
  • Safety Kayaker Class IV
  • Trip Leader Class IV

This intensive 5 day section will include a series of practical scenarios & assessments required to pass in order to gain IRF award status.  We will be based on a remote riverside camp on the banks of the Marshyangdi River for the duration.  

SECTION 6 – Optional Internship:  (4 weeks)

After successful completion of the program, participants may be offered an extra 4 weeks of work experience with one of a variety of Nepal’s most reputable whitewater rafting operators.  This section is completely dependent on individual performance.

COST:  We’re still working on this too!

What’s Included:

  • All tuition & rafting equipment (kayakers will need to bring there own kayak & paddle / kayak rental is available for $25 per day)
  • All transport to & from the rivers
  • Accommodation throughout (shared hostel accommodation while in Pokhara / beach camping while on river or at adventure camp)
  • Meals during section 1, 3 & 5 as well as meals when on the river during section 2 commercial trip consolidation internship
  • All text books, registration & administration fees

What’s NOT Included:

  • International travel
  • Visa
  • Insurance (mandatory)
  • Meals when not on the river during section 2 & 4)
  • Items of a personal nature


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9 to 12 day remote river rafting, kayaking & camping adventures.